SWOK 534 Policy and Practice in Social Service Organizations
University of Southern California- VAC, spring 2011
Community Immersion Paper: Jennings, Louisiana I. Identification and General Description of Community Choosing a community to write about for this community immersion paper was not hard, as I live in one of the most talked about cities in southern Louisiana. Jennings, Louisiana is a city located in the southern part of Louisiana about 80 miles from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is the city base for Jeff Davis Parish which combined has 6 cities in the parish (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Jennings is considered a rural area with a population of 10,909 people residing in the city.
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This is all downtown Jennings, continue to drive to Southside Jennings and the economy changes. The economy in Jennings is low compared to other cities in Louisiana. Local business owner, own most of the shopping places. The other centers are chain stores and restaurants which provide employment in city. To obtain a good job some resident must leave the city and drive at least 30 miles to the nearest city for work. There are 3 public schools and 2 catholic schools in Jennings there is a technical school which provides training in different fields. Just recently I was informed that Southside had the only elementary school residents. According to the Jennings daily news the school was moved uptown Jennings. There are no schools located in the Southside community of Jennings (Jennings Daily News, 2005). Looking for resources in Jennings is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. There are limited resources in the area for residents living in poverty. There is no office of community services which provides applications and face to face case managers for additional household help; the nearest office is 45 minutes away. There is a health unit that provides parenting classes other services to needed residents. Caring Hands is the only resource of helping people pay bills if needed. They help with light bills, gas bills, and water bills if